Adelaide Festival Centre presented 'Her Majesty's Theatre Closing Benefit' on Saturday 24th March 2018 at 7:30pm at Her Majesty's Theatre. This gala presentation is a celebration of the rich history and talent which has graced the stage over the years since the opening in 1913. The Benefit supports the future of Her Majesty's Theatre (The Maj) and looked back to the changes that have been made since it opened as The Tivoli Theatre in 1913.
The $66 million redevelopment will begin in three weeks time. The purpose of the benefit was to raise $5 million towards the redevelopment. Currently, they have raised $1 million but are hoping that the attending audience members will be ambassadors, who tell their friends and family all the great things that will come from the development. They are still looking for donations and every bit helps towards the future of the arts.
The theatre will now close down for at least 15 months for renovations. It will reopen in 2020. The State Government is investing a $32 million grant towards the development, but The Adelaide Festival Centre is hoping to raise an additional $3.2 million dollars through public donations to enhance the project, but have set their goal at $5 million.
The Her Majesty's Theatre redevelopment will provide the capacity to hold almost 1,500 guests. An additional third tier will be added above the second floor. Each level will be accommodated with a bar and toilet block. Guests will no longer have to move along the aisle to get to their seat, there will be more access to seats and more room between aisles.
Her Majesty's Theatre has been entertaining South Australians and tourists for over 100 years. It has seen hundreds of celebrities grace its stage and had many famous productions brought to South Australia. The final performance was a celebration and lots of fun for all involved. Hosted by Jane Doyle with storytelling by Peter Goers it featured performances by Johanna Allen, Robyn Archer, Michaela Burger, Cameron Goodall, Nancye Hayes, Ali McGregor (Carousel), Meow Meow, Rob Mills and Tim Rogers.
The show opened with the vocal stylings of Ali McGregor, who wowed the audience with 'Carousel'. The show featured performances from musicals such as 'I'm the Greatest Star But No-One Knows It' made famous from Funny Girl, sang by Michaela Burger, 'If They Could See Me Now' from Sweet Charity and 'I'm Still Here' from Follies, sang by Nancye Hayes and 'Defying Gravity' from Wicked, sung by Rob Mills and Johanna Allen.
The show had a comical aspect with Peter Goers interviewing famous star Phyl Skinner. Skinner talked about her time on the stage as a young girl and told stories of celebrities she'd encounters. At only 95 and a half, she won over the audience the audience with her humour and talent. It was Cameron Goodall's job to show support for the many theatrical productions that have graced the stage, so he performed a monologue to 'All the World's A Stage' from As You Like It. As the show continued, more stars took to the stage with songs that helped celebrate the gala occasion. Robyn Archer with Michael Morley performed 'Bilbao Song', Tim Rogers sang 'I Think It's Gonna Rain Today', but it was Cameron Goodall's 1950s-60s medley featureing songs by Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly, Big Bopper, Richie Valens that stole the show, fans were singing and bopping along.
Crowd favourite Rob Mills took a fan from the audience onto the stage during 'Sway/You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You' and danced them around the stage before pausing the show to check his Tinder notifications and finishing the show singing to the girl on his phone. Millsy has always been a fan of the stage and this shows when he sings. His sexy and sophisticated approach wins over every woman in the audience.
When Meow Meow came out to sing 'A Quoi Ca Sert L'Amour Broken' the crowd couldn't help but laugh as she pulled three male co-stars out to perform a fan dance around her. Tim Rogers presented 'Damage' while a background of pictures rotated on the screen behind. Ali McGregor's 'Feelin' Good' medley left everyone is a good mood and received a huge applause. This featured songs by Michael Buble, Nina Simone, The Gorillaz and Missy Elliott. The finale featured all the singers back to the stage together with Jane Doyle and Peter Goers with 'Get Happy'.
Although the benefit helped, they still have a long way to go. They have already raised $1 million towards the redevelopment but the goal is to raise $5 million. If you would like to donate towards the future of The Maj you can go to: www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/